February 14th, 2020

Episode 13 - Paul Dix

When the Adults Change

Paul is an ex teacher and behavioural specialist. He’s a speaker, an author and a ‘teacher wrangler’ and trouble-shooter. He has had 25 years’ experience dealing with challenging behaviour in the classroom in schools dealing with lots of different sort of problems. Paul is the founder of Pivotal Education and author of When the Adults Change Everything Changes. Paul struggled in education himself and draws on his own experience as a student and teacher to help teachers understand the child’s perspective.

Listen to this episode with Paul Dix if you want to learn:

  • Why punishment in the classroom (and at home) doesn’t work. (See our positive discipline class)
  • How kids can read a teacher and know exactly when he’s lost it and use it to provoke him (enjoy the Fruit of the Loom story)
  • How easy it is for adults to reach for punishment when their own emotions are aroused
  • How important it is to remove adult emotion so that the child can see the rational straight line between their behaviour and consequences. Emotional adults will never correct inappropriate behaviour
  • About the different cultures in different schools surrounding the use of sanctions
  • More positive ways of responding to frustrating disruptive behaviours in the classroom
  • How key the relationship between parents and teachers is and why it’s better to go to the teacher with a problem than over their head to a higher authority. Paul warns against the Sunday night email to the school!
  • Why exclusion booths (where the child is subject to both physical and psychological control and isolation) are an appalling response (by a minority of schools) to relatively minor misbehaviours
  • About positive strategies like greeting children at the beginning of the day, recognition boards, hot chocolate Fridays, 2 minute discos at the end of the day, fantastic walking. Having very consistent routines and acknowledging the good behaviour and structured consistent responses by all teachers to poor behaviour.
  • How to have ‘restorative conversations’ when things have gone wrong. (This is akin to the Mistakes Process we teach at TPP) 

Paul talks a lot about the need for parents to keep calm and keep the emotion out of it when disciplining them. He concedes this is easier said than done. If you haven’t already listened to our interview with Bonnie Harris do so to get lots of ideas about how to restore calm when your buttons have been pushed. We also have a workshop entitled How to be a Calmer Parent.

In our celebration of vulnerability and perfect imperfection Paul shares with us a very funny Low Parenting Moment of his own that many of us can identify with.

And his top tip for raising children to be confident, happy and successful.  

Links: to get in touch with Paul go to www.whentheadultschange.com


Posted in: Fixing mistakes , Positive Discipline , School behaviour




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